Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro Score Personal Best of 91.250% for European Championship Freestyle Gold

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Valegro, used to medal ceremonies, turned to the British flag during the national anthem as did his rider, Charlotte Dujardin after winning the second individual gold medal at the European Xhampionships. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Valegro, used to medal ceremonies, turned to the British flag during the playing of the national anthem as did his rider, Charlotte Dujardin after winning the second individual gold medal at the European Championships. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

KENNETH J. BRADDICK

HERNING, Denmark, Aug. 25–Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro won the European Championship Freestyle gold medal Sunday with a personal best score of 91.250 per cent in an event charged with emotion that brought tears, laughter and perhaps some of the best sport ever both in and out of the competition arena.

The Freestyle gold medal score for the 28-year-old Olympic double gold medalist was just 1.05 per cent off the world record and the second individual gold at these championships having won the Grand Prix Special on Friday a day after leading Great Britain to team bronze.

Helen Langehanenberg of Germany and Damon Hill NRW scored 87.286 per cent  to place second, as they did in the Special to claim silver but that did not match the emotion of the gold Germany won in the Nations Cup, their first championship victory since the 2008 Olympics.

Adelinde Cornelissen of the Netherlands and Jerich Parzival, the world’s No. 1 ranked combination and both horse and rider more relaxed than perhaps ever before with a return to Holland’s national coach, secured the bronze with 86.393 per cent. The pair won bronze in the Special and team silver.

One of the most emotional moments of the European Championships was the formal retirement from championship competition of Digby, the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding that carried Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein to two Olympics, two world championships, three European Championships and multiple World Cup Finals. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
One of the most emotional moments of the European Championships was the formal retirement from championship competition of Digby, the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding that carried Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein to two Olympics, two world championships, three European Championships and multiple World Cup Finals. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Emotion was the order of the day after the intensity of competition which began with the biggest prize, the Nations Cup, last Wednesday and wide open with Germany, Netherlands, Great Britain, the team of Denmark and Sweden all given a shot at being on the medals podium. The highest spot went to Germany, with the Dutch a step down and Great Britain on the third level determined by the marks of a single judge that was so controversial as it deprived Britain of silver that the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) said it will renew championship judging procedures to try to avoid this happening again.

However, the Grand Prix Special seemed to restore confidence–along with unseasonably balmy weather that put everyone in a good mood and brought a total of 61,500 spectators to the 10,000-seat soccer stadium before it ended its brief life as a horse show.

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro collected the gold, Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill the silver and Adelinde and Parzival the bronze, as well as several tearful interviews that she ascribed to how amazingly well her horse is performing after heart problems threatened the competition career of the KWPN gelding. Renewed joy in competing on a horse that Adelinde developed in her spare time as a school teacher to be a sales project because Parzival had been too crazy for anyone else to ride to become the No. 1 combination in the world, plus changes in the elite Dutch squad so she could go back to the coach who helped her to the top.

European Championship Freestyle medalists (left to right) Helen Langehanenberg (silver), Charlotte Dujardin (gold) amd Adelinde Cornelissen (bronze). © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
European Championship Freestyle medalists (left to right) Helen Langehanenberg (silver), Charlotte Dujardin (gold) amd Adelinde Cornelissen (bronze). © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The mood of the crowd for Sunday’s Freestyle was set early when Britain’s Michael Eilberg on Half Moon Delphi–the victims of the judging issue that saw a 10 percentage point difference between the highest and lowest score in the Grand Prix–were the first of 15 horses and riders into the arena. The crowd clapped along with Spanish music in his freestyle.

Michael Eilberg on Half Moon Delphi after his Freestyle that drew loud applause from the crowd that brough the first smiles to his face after anbeing the unsought center of a judging controversy. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Michael Eilberg on Half Moon Delphi after his Freestyle that drew loud applause from the crowd that brough the first smile to his face after anbeing the unsought center of a judging controversy. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein cannot hold back the tears as the crowd gives a standing ovation to Digby, her mount at Olympics Games. after his championship competition. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein cannot hold back the tears as the crowd gives a standing ovation to Digby, her mount at Olympics Games. after his last championship competition. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Anna Kasprzak and Donnperignon, the best of the new generation of Danish riders, was brought to tears by cheers and applause of the crowd. He mother's business, Ecco, was the sponsor of the dressage, jumping and para-dressage championships. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Anna Kasprzak and Donnperignon, the best of the new generation of Danish riders, was brought to tears by cheers and applause of the crowd. He mother’s business, Ecco, was the sponsor of the dressage, jumping and para-dressage championships. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin brought some humor to the awards ceremony when she rode in on Valegro wearing a top hat that was part of the outfit of ringmaster Pedro Cebulka know for his flamboyant clothing at premier horse shows around the world. Pedro is wearing harlotte's "crash" helmet that she took to wearing after being thrown from a horse and was knowcked out. Her helmet fits well with her top coat , she said, and expects that safety helmets will become the rule. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Charlotte Dujardin brought some humor to the awards ceremony when she rode in on Valegro wearing a top hat that was part of the outfit of ringmaster Pedro Cebulka know for his flamboyant clothing at premier horse shows around the world. Pedro is wearing Charlotte’s “crash” helmet that she took to wearing after being thrown from a horse and was knocked out. Her helmet fits well with her top coat , she said, and expects that safety helmets will become the rule. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Er, wrong way, Adelinde and Parzival. The 16-year-old KWPN gelding wanted nothing to do with the traditional celebratory victory gallop and headed for the exit. Not so Valegro who seems to love the limelight. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Er, wrong way, Adelinde and Parzival. The 16-year-old KWPN gelding wanted nothing to do with the traditional celebratory victory gallop and headed for the exit. Not so Valegro who seems to love the limelight. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Charlotte disclosed after her ride that Carl Hester, her coach, mentor and part-owner of Valegro, had sugested the horse get the day off Saturday following the Grand Prix Thursday and Special on Friday, a move she said was to make him fresh for the Freestyle, but “scared me a little.”

“It really worked,” she said. “He came out today and felt really on form. He felt so relaxed and we really had fun.”

Valegro getting to chew on the flowers at the European Championships Freestyle awards ceremony where his rider, Charlotte Dujardin, was awarded gold medals. © 20134 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Valegro getting to chew on the flowers at the European Championships Freestyle awards ceremony where his rider, Charlotte Dujardin, was awarded gold medals. © 20134 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Results:

European Championship Grand Prix Freestyle

Judge K: Isabelle Judet (FRA0 Judge E: Dietrich Plewa (GER) Judge H: Gustaf Svalling (SWE) Judge C: Leif Törnblad (DEN)
Judge M: Andrew Gardner (GBR) Judge B: Francis Verbeek-van Rooij (NED) Judge F: Susie Hoevenaars (AUS)
Rank HORSE – Breeding
sex\colour\born\sire x siredam\
K E H C M B F Total
RIDER
owner
technical
artistic
technical
artistic
technical
artistic
technical
artistic
technical
artistic
technical
artistic
technical
artistic
1 Valegro – KWPN
G \ Bay \ 2002 \ Negro x Gerschwin
GBR
12500 90.00 86.00 89.75 88.75 90.50 86.50 86.00 91.250
Charlotte  Dujardin
Mrs R Luard Mr C Hester
97.00 94.00 91.00 95.00 93.00 97.00 93.00
2 Damon Hill NRW – WESTF
S \ DarkChestnut \ 2000 \ Donnerhall x Rubinstein I
GER
10000 89.00 85.25 83.50 84.75 84.75 81.25 83.50 87.286
Helen  Langehanenberg
Christian Becks
90.00 88.00 87.00 90.00 91.00 94.00 90.00
3 Jerich Parzival – KWPN
G \ Chestnut \ 1997 \ Jazz x Ulft
NED
7500 84.25 82.00 82.25 86.50 84.50 83.75 83.25 86.393
Adelinde  Cornelissen
W.P.J. Cornelissen / M.A. Cornelissen
91.00 86.00 84.00 92.00 91.00 91.00 88.00
4 Glock´s Undercover – KWPN
G \ Black \ 2001 \ Ferro x Donnerhall
NED
6000 81.75 82.00 86.50 81.00 83.75 82.50 80.25 84.911
Edward  Gal
Ghpc Holding Bv
88.00 87.00 86.00 83.00 90.00 89.00 88.00
5 Desperados FRH – HANN
S \ Black \ 2001 \ De Niro x Wolkenstein II
GER
4000 83.75 81.75 77.75 77.00 77.25 78.00 77.75 81.875
Kristina  Sprehe
Paul & Albert Gestüt Sprehe GmbH; Sprehe
88.00 86.00 85.00 80.00 83.00 85.00 86.00
6 Uthopia – KWPN
S \ Bay \ 2001 \ Metall x Inspekteur
GBR
2500 79.75 79.00 79.75 76.25 79.00 77.50 79.50 81.696
Carl  Hester
Mr Carl Hester & Mrs Sasha Stewart
88.00 85.00 82.00 83.00 84.00 85.00 86.00
7 Donnperignon – FWB
G \ DarkChestnut \ 1999 \ Donnerhall x Mozart II79
DEN
2000 78.25 76.25 77.00 76.25 77.75 76.50 76.25 80.161
Anna  Kasprzak
Kasprzak Family
83.00 84.00 83.00 84.00 84.00 82.00 84.00
8 Don Auriello – HANN
G \ Bay \ 2002 \ Don Davidoff x White Star
SWE
1500 79.50 76.50 79.50 76.75 77.75 77.00 78.00 80.071
Tinne  Vilhelmson-Silfven
Lövsta Stuteri / Antonia Ax:son Johnson
82.00 81.00 83.00 83.00 83.00 80.00 84.00
9 Digby – DWB
G \ DarkBay \ 1997 \ Donnerhall x Sandro
DEN
1000 81.75 78.25 77.25 76.50 76.75 76.75 77.50 79.554
Nathalie zu  Sayn-Wittgenstein
Dr. M. Siebert, R. White Nathalie zu Sayn Wittgenstein
83.00 81.00 79.00 82.00 82.00 80.00 82.00
10 D´Agostino 5 – HANN
G \ Chestnut \ 2000 \ De Niro x Shogun xx
GER
600 74.50 75.75 73.75 74.00 75.75 75.50 76.50 77.411
Fabienne  Lütkemeier
Gina Capellmann-Lütkemeier
75.00 82.00 78.00 79.00 80.00 80.00 84.00
11 Santana – HANN
S \ Black \ 2001 \ Sandro Hit x Rubinstein I
SWE
480 77.25 76.00 70.50 72.25 73.00 77.25 72.00 76.589
Minna  Telde
Minna Telde AB / Berit Telde
81.00 81.00 77.00 78.00 79.00 80.00 78.00
12 Augustin OLD – OLDBG
S \ Bay \ 2000 \ August der Starke x Rohdiamant
AUT
480 72.25 74.00 74.00 70.00 73.25 74.00 72.75 75.518
Victoria  Max-Theurer
Elisabeth Max-Theurer, Schloss Achleiten
79.00 79.00 78.00 76.00 79.00 79.00 77.00
13 Kingsley Siro – KWPN
G \ Black \ 1999 \ Gribaldi x Hemmingway
NED
480 78.00 74.25 73.50 71.25 75.25 74.00 74.00 75.304
Danielle  Heijkoop
D.Heykoop & T.E.G.van Grunsven & J.J.v.Verseveld
80.00 78.00 76.00 72.00 78.00 74.00 76.00
14 Donnerfee – OLDBG
M \ Bay \ 2000 \ De Niro x Rosenkavalier
BEL
480 74.50 72.50 71.00 72.00 73.25 73.25 73.50 74.786
Claudia  Fassaert
Dirk Hooghe-Verhoeven
78.00 75.00 74.00 79.00 76.00 78.00 77.00
15 Half Moon Delphi – HANN
M \ Grey \ 2002 \ Dimaggio x West Wall
GBR
480 73.25 74.75 72.00 72.75 72.50 74.00 73.00 74.232
Michael  Eilberg
Mr Jon And Mrs Julie Deverill
74.00 79.00 74.00 75.00 75.00 75.00 75.00